Blocking ICE Arrests in Courthouses

Immigrant Rights

Lawyers for Civil Rights’ landmark case blocking immigration arrests in and around Massachusetts courthouses, Ryan v. ICE, is the first case of its kind in the country. The case was filed in partnership with Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), and Chelsea Collaborative with pro bono support from Goodwin LLP. It is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

This important case is generating significant support.

Nineteen former Massachusetts judges and justices recently filed a powerful amicus brief in the First Circuit supporting the plaintiffs in Ryan v. ICE.

The amicus brief, whose prominent signatories include former Justices Ireland, Bostford, Duffy and Hines of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, details the profound — and at times violent — disruptions to the judicial system produced by immigration arrests at courthouses.

The brief, filed by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, makes an important aspect of the case clear: immigration arrests at courthouses harm us all, and make us all less safe. There is no effective access to justice when the courthouse doors are effectively closed to immigrants, and the brief makes clear just how much the Commonwealth suffers as a result of ICE’s policies and practices.

Ryan v. ICE has also received significant amicus support from twenty-seven organizations that address the needs of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. This brief was filed by Block & Leviton LLP.

The case has also received amicus support from Prof. Nikolas Bowie of Harvard Law School and the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program at Harvard Law School.

The amicus briefs are available here:

Brief from 27 Organizations Addressing the Needs of Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims


Brief from Prof. Bowie and Harvard Law School Clinic


Brief from 19 Former Judges and Justices: